4 May 2012

A Guide to finding the Warren (a Brighton Fringe pop-up venue) and what you’ll find there


Last night I had a tip off, (can’t reveal my sources), that the Warren was having a launch party, so with my fascination with the Kardashians in full swing, I stuck on some falsies, peeled on my shoe-boots and hoicked over to West Street and to where I thought the venue was. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be let in, but as I was keen to see the new venue for myself I thought I’d give it a try.

The Venue wasn’t where I thought it would be, so I clip-clopped down the main street in the drizzle with heavy eyelashes towards the seafront, looking up side streets trying to work out where I was going. After first of all trying to gain entrance through the exit, it did say Wagner Hall over the door, I was directed round to the front.

So after a bit of searching I found the entrance to the 150 seater pop-up venue, located right in the centre of town and what a jolly oasis it is too, with a garden full of bluebells and overlooked by the gothic spire of St Paul. Inside, the venue has been brought back to life by a whole host of volunteers under the management of James and Otherplace Productions. The proportions are perfect for Fringe entertainment in my opinion, small enough to be intimate, large enough to make a big impact.



The Warren Theatre, Brighton


The Burrow Bar, Warren Theatre,
Brighton

After politely inviting myself and then being taken on a private tour, which I loved, I stayed to watch some taster performances, a mixture of the thought provoking and comic, mostly comic and I did laugh out loud a lot.

Honestly, when going through the programme none of these acts had stood out for me, but having seen a taster I would absolutely recommend them, which just shows it’s sometimes worth gate-crashing. As the Warren Theatre is the younger sister of Upstairs at the Three and Ten, the performances below are a selection from both venues.

Ragnarok: The Weird of the Gods



John Hinton is funny, he’s funny when he doesn’t need to be or maybe even means to be, I’m not sure. He just has a great stage presence that was evident even before he started his performance. With a cartoon backdrop he told us that he would be explaining Norse mythology and that the world is not round, did we know that? We actually live up a tree. His songs were enjoyable, funny and bonkers, that’s a great mix and Hinton is definitely worth going to see.

Venue: Upstairs at Three and Ten,  Category: Theatre

Promoter: Theatre of the Preposterous,  Entrance fee: £9.00 (£7.50 concessions)

Website: http://www.theatreofthepreposterous.co.uk/,  Twitter: @johnny_acecraft

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/events/232336040185051/

Age Suitability: PG – Children (16 and under) must be accompanied by an adult

Event Dates

• 05 May 3:00 PM from £9.00, 06 May 3:00 PM, 26 May 3:00 PM, 27 May 3:00 PM

The Big Bite-Size Vintage Tea Party


Having reviewed performances during the Fringe in previous years I was already aware of Bite-size and they have never failed to be inventive and lively. This particular ten-minuter turned on a clever conceit, was well executed and delivered. I don’t want to spoil it by elaborating more on the story because part of the enjoyment is the unexpected. As an added incentive the price includes tea and cake, super-yay!

Venue: Warren (The),  Category: Theatre

Promoter: White Room Theatre,  Entrance fee: £12.00

Website: http://www.bite-size.org/,  Twitter: @bitesizeplays

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/bitesize

Age Suitability: PG – Children (16 and under) must be accompanied by an adult

Event Dates

• 20 May 2:30 PM from £12.00, 27 May 2:30 PM

The Ouse Valley Singles Club


Featuring Andrew Barron on his ukulele and Amy Martell on Bass they sang a selection of very funny songs about the trials and tribulations of having or not having a relationship. According to their Facebook profile, ‘their brand of music has brought singles together and cured loneliness. A truly original music form which is a Hybrid New Wave Skiffle. In their travelling singles venues they have brought many a couple together. Indeed rumour has it that the celebrity couple Russell Brand and Katy Perry found true love at an OVSC gig.’ They are very funny and absolutely worth going to see.

Venue: Upstairs at Three and Ten,  Category: Music

Promoter: The Ouse Valley Singles Club,  Entrance fee: £8.00 (£6.50 concessions)

Website: www.myspace.com/theousevalleysinglesclub,  Twitter: theovsc

Facebook: www.facebook.com/theousevalleysinglesclub

Age Suitability: Suitable for ages 18+

Event Dates

• 04 May 7:00 PM from £8.00, 22 May 8:30 PM, 23 May 8:30 PM

Eve Speaks: A Musical Cabaret




In this retelling of the tale of Eve, Matthews uses a blend of writing, live music and cabaret. Eve is a seductive, sassy blonde with a soft North American drawl. The performer Matthews has a short wavy bob that reminded me of the 1930s and then she sang with the most lovely voice a song that also seemed influenced by this period, it has an intoxicating effect. This is an opportunity to be drawn into the re-invention of the original story.

Venue: Upstairs at Three and Ten,  Category: Cabaret

Promoter: The Bitchuationist,  Entrance fee: £8.00 (£6.50 concessions)

Website: http://www.bitchuationist.blogspot.com/,  Twitter: @bitchuationist

Facebook: Ali Matthews

Age Suitability: Suitable for ages 15+

Event Dates

• 04 May 10:00 PM from £8.00, 05 May 10:00 PM, 06 May 10:00 PM

Bug by Tracy Letts



Written by the Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Tracy Letts, Bug is a tale about a divorced substance abuser who discovers an infestation in her seedy motel room. Starring Charlie Allen, Melody Roche & Mandy Jackson and from the company behind last year's critically acclaimed 40th anniversary adaptation of Get Carter this is an altogether weightier piece to get hooked into.

Venue: Warren (The),  Category: Theatre

Promoter: James Weisz Productions,  Entrance fee: £12.50 (£10.50 concessions)

Website: http://www.warrenvenue.com/,  Twitter: @bugplay

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thewarrenbrighton,

Age Suitability: Suitable for ages 15+

Event Dates

• 04 May 5:45 PM from £12.50

• 05 5:45 PM, 06 May 5:45 PM, 07 May 5:45 PM, 26 May 7:30 PM, 27 May 7:30 PM